A lunchtime treat at the Horton for Dementia Action Week

(L-R) Helen Fountain of Age UK Oxfordshire, Gayle Williams of Oxford Hospitals Charity, and Kate Wilkinson at the Dementia Action Week concert at the Horton General Hospital. Photo: OUH
(L-R) Helen Fountain of Age UK Oxfordshire, Gayle Williams of Oxford Hospitals Charity, and Kate Wilkinson at the Dementia Action Week concert at the Horton General Hospital. Photo: OUH

Healthcare partners came together to showcase how they are helping patients during Dementia Action Week at the Horton General Hospital.

On Tuesday (May 21), there was a special concert in the hospital restaurant aimed at an older audience as part of the Banbury Age Friendly scheme.

Musician Kate Wilkinson serenaded diners with performances of songs from musicals and classical arias before moving onto the wards to entertain patients.

Supported by the Oxford Hospitals Charity’s Artlink programme, the concert was part of a regular arts and music programme across Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The programme includes visual arts, performance, music, and literature to make our hospitals welcoming and attractive environments, to help to reduce stress and anxiety, and to engage and bring pleasure to patients, visitors, and staff.

Ruth Charity, arts co-ordinator at the trust, said: “This concert was a real pleasure. There’s a wealth of research showing that the arts can provide real, measurable health benefits to patients.

"Studies have shown that music and the visual arts can reduce the length of a patient’s stay in hospital, decrease levels of depression, and reduce their perception of pain.

“We’re very lucky to have a variety of musicians who perform at our hospitals on a regular basis, include fortnightly concerts on our geratology wards to help create a calmer atmosphere for our older patients.”

Ms Wilkinson said: “I love coming to the hospitals to perform. The patients really seem to love the performances on the wards.

"Even when they’re bed-bound, they’ll wave their arms and join in with the singalong. I Could Have Danced All Night is a particular favourite!

“The staff always thanks me and say the wards are a lot calmer after the performances.

"I’ve even had some patients say that if they could have a show every day, they wouldn’t need medicine.

"I think it does a lot to raise people’s spirits and gives people a really welcome break.”